Perfection in the Practical
Do you feel it? That chill in the air? If you live in Florida or LA, the answer is probably ‘no’, but the rest of us are feeling the chill in the best way. Soon are the days we get to spend in frozen winter wonderlands, but in the meantime, there is some serious preseason preparation required on the behalf of you, dear reader.
Yes, we are talking about one of the most critical, yet overlooked aspects of having an excellent day up on the mountain. Perhaps the title of the article is a cue but being ready for the year includes ensuring that you’ve got the appropriate snack for on the mountain.
Nothing cuts into fun like being uncomfortable, and if you’ve found yourself with one-too-few layers and the wind starts cutting through, your mind starts to ask itself “Why am I doing this?”. It’s a feeling shared by seasoned vets and small children alike. Regardless of how much snow is falling, we sometimes get stuck in the vicious cycle of warming up on the way down, and freezing on the way up. Add a bit of wind to that, and you’ve got a recipe for losing the stoke!
Some days are just that cold, but most of the time hunger is the main culprit. Going into the lodge, while providing some warmth, only offers temporary respite – you’re gonna have to face the cold again at some point! Given these conditions, what better way could there be to revitalize you on the mountain than a large morsel of saturated fat and cocoa-y goodness? Seriously though, it’s got an excellent mix of protein, saturated fat, and sugars to give you energy and help sustain you, and it’s easy for a shivering hand to grab.
Now, there are of course two ways of eating chocolate – letting it dissolve, or chewing it normally. Our friends over at Front Porch Chocolate recommend chewing: there is need to let it melt slowly, and chewing it allows different parts of the chocolate to melt at different rates, unlocking a broader spectrum of flavors over time. Now, in all fairness, some of us (myself included) may disagree about this being the best way to eat it – particularly in cold temps, having a slowly dissolving beacon of light is distraction enough from the cold.
A vigorous chew will bring that sweet, sweet energy to your tired, tired legs sooner, and you can always double down and eat more chocolate. Last I checked, if it’s dark chocolate, you can eat as much as you want without feeling any ill effect but take that with a grain of salt.
With all about eating chocolate, have you considered sipping chocolate? Ok, sure, call it hot cocoa if you will, but another, perhaps better way to enjoy the goodness of chocolate is in a thermos – it’s easy to grab out of a pack, and it stays warm. Half of what makes skiing not fun is being cold, so might as well help your body along! Moreover, instead of something like coffee or tea, which are both great, don’t get me wrong, chocolate has a chemical called theobromine, which acts similarly to caffeine but doesn’t leave you with a letdown. In other words, the perfect chemical for an endurance-testing powder day!
The last point to be made here about why chocolate happens to be an excellent chairlift snack should be somewhat obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: it’s a no-muss, no-fuss solution that’s easy to eat, especially for those whom riding the chairlift is already a big endeavor in the first place.